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Iraq Deploys Troops To Retake Mosul

The Iraqi Army is deploying thousands of soldiers to a northern base to eventually retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, officials said on February 8.

Mohammed al-Wagaa, an Iraqi Army officer at the camp where the troops will be stationed, said they were "trained by the coalition forces near Baghdad."

IS militants seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in June 2014.

Iraqi officials have vowed to recapture Mosul this year, but past Iraqi military operations have been repeatedly delayed.

The U.S.-led coalition says it is too early to set a timetable for an operation to liberate Mosul.

An operation to retake the city is expected to be one of the most difficult battles of Iraq's war against IS due to the city's size, the presence of large numbers of civilians there, and the long period the militants have had to prepare defenses.

Backed by coalition air strikes, Iraqi forces recaptured Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, west of Baghdad, in December in a major blow to the militants.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP